Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Friday, 27 March 2015


I have a fondness for growing succulents. I like the rosette form of the leaves; the way they form a cushiony mound and send off 'baby' off-shoots, and most importantly, the colour, particularly those with that delicious glaucous blue hue. The flower is really unimportant as far as I'm concerned when it comes to growing these plants. I had these two antique wire 'baskets' just the right size for popping a couple of Echeverias into, with enough space down the sides to arrange a lovely selection of shells and pebbles.

I photographed them against a backdrop of my latest shell collage and a piece of stonework hand-carved by my partner J. Here is another of his beautiful carvings:

His dream has always been to work on cathedral building, but his epilepsy has sadly meant that those doors have been closed to him. 

When I work it's all about colour......this collage has very pale tones of delicate pink, beige, brown and off-white. I've used a quotation from a piece of writing by Maggie Barratt called, 'At the water's edge':

"Spending summers by the sea, we learn to live by the tide instead of the clock. We decorate our tables and ledges with beach treasures and live well in sparsely furnished cottages, rich in spirit and happy to have no distractions but the sea outside the window; and each time we look out to sea, we rest a little deeper, grow a little stronger, sleep a little more soundly."

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Hello friends.....sorry it's been a while. I've been re-stocking and re-arranging the shop this week and by the time I get home and cook something to eat, I'm just too tired to post. So here's a few pictures of  what's new in the shop; the lovely Spring weather has meant that I can spill out onto the pavement too, and with the door open, I can hear the waves breaking on the beach.

Thanks so much for stopping by 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Snowdrop

I took a walk along to the old bridge that crosses the estuary at Ruan Lanihorne this afternoon....

In the woods the walls are smothered in moss.

 Amazingly beautiful close-up.....

By the time I reached the church there wasn't enough sun to read the sundial on the wall, alas.

Behind the little spring a carpet of snowdrops....

Back when I was a student and visiting a friend in Oxford, a lady stopped me in the street and asked if I would care to read some of her poetry. Her name was Zoe Peterssen, and I still have the two simple handmade books of her poems which she entitled, 'Whispers from Nature'. I cannot pass these pretty white maids now without recalling to mind her words:


She bent her head
and to me whispered,
whispered softly and gently:
"pay me some attention"

The Snowdrop

 My walk began in sunshine and ended in rain, but the kind of rain that is soft and gentle as it kisses your cheek, and sends little circular waves of ripples in the puddles.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Today was like summer in February......I flung open all the doors and windows to let the warm sunshine in, shook all the rugs outside and started spring cleaning!

 Then before I opened the shop this afternoon I took a stroll down to the sea. Portscatho's very own pizza hut, 'Tatams', was open for business......

they serve the most delicious stonebaked pizzas three evenings a week (Thurs/Fri/Sat) and Sunday lunchtime, and bacon rolls on Sunday mornings. I recommend!

After closing I took a last look at the sea

Those waves just keep rolling in...........

Saturday, 7 February 2015

The velvet on this 1950's boudoir chair has faded to almost dove-grey now, but just imagine what it was like when first made, in this electric sky-blue!

The papering of the walls is still going on....and on....and on.....

A new acquisition is this wicker basket on wheels, designed I think to keep baby things in. The inner 'tray' which is ruched with a dainty rosebud fabric lifts up to reveal a lovely lined interior, the rosebud fabric again appearing in the base.

These little leather shoes are the most gorgeous colour aren't they! I've put one of Angelica's shoe painting cards next to them.

A few Valentine's Day cards; one an original Victorian fold-out card and the other two are replicas of cards from the 1920's which I make. The little boy in the combinations is picking the petals off a daisy, and underneath it reads, 'she lufs me, she lufs me not....'

The blushing girl with the pink bow is saying, 'I ain't nobody's sweetheart yet'!

 This necklace by Louise Taylor-Bowen is made from dyed vintage lace with pretty pink pearls and shells stitched on.

Happy Days everyone!  Spring is coming!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Thank you all so much for your useful and diverse comments on the matter of the old wallpaper. The shop is still in a state of transition at the moment, and I am still undecided about whether to cover it over or not. Once I have finished collaging the other walls I will get a better idea of how the room will look as a whole.

I recently came across this lovely stash of old stamps,

many of them bundled up in lots. Some of the Victorian ones have snippets of writing on. They will come in very handy when doing more collaging. 

I am just open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at the moment, so if you fancy a stroll by the sea or lunch in the pub in Portscatho one of these cold Spring weekends (Yes, Spring comes early here) do pop by and see what's new!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Uncovering the past

Ever since I moved into my shop premises in 2003 I have wanted to rip out the modern fitted cupboards and dressers that lined the walls and find out what lay behind. On Monday Dave and I did just that, removing three layers of chipboard and pegboard to reveal the original raw planks that have been there since the building was still a cottage. Behind these planks are the rough, thick bare stone walls. It has felt good to let the building 'breathe' again; at the base of the wall behind the skirting the wood was completely rotten and will need replacing. I am relieved that there appears to be no evidence of woodworm. What has been the best surprise is finding some of the old wallpaper - three distinct layers, all quite differently patterned.

The dilemma I face now is whether to leave this part of the wall exposed so that the wallpaper can be seen, or to collage over the top, as was my original intention, with the paper collage I created when I exhibited at The Country Living Fair a few years ago.

For all its historical interest it is not by any stretch of the imagination 'beautiful' and would to a certain degree change the interior character of my shop, being of a darkish hue while all the other walls are a pale blue or white. Covering it over again will help in its preservation. It is peeling off in a lot of places and exposing it will only accelerate this. But part of me thinks that I should leave it exposed and make a feature of it.

What do you think I should do?